Thoughts And Prayers Are Mostly Useless

By now, everyone has heard about the violenbt massacre of young children at the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. The suspected shooter is Salvador Ramos, 18, a student at Uvalde High School.

This comes 10 days after another 18-year-old Payton Gendron was arrested and charged with the murder of 10 people at a Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo, N.Y. As I write this, they say the death toll is 21 people murdered in Uvalde. That’s 31 people killed by gun violence in under two weeks in just two separate incidents.

In both case, an 18-year-old was able to easily secure semi-automatic rifles. And it didn’t take long for the “Thoughts and Prayers” people came out to do the very bary minimum that they can do to show they are empathetic and considerate. But they’re not going to do anything. Why? Because thoughts and prayers are mostly useless.

Now, I’m not saying people are wasting their time saying a prayer whenever someone is in the hospital with an injury or illness. Because something is being done. A person who works as an electrician hears that one of their customers is in the hospital after getting in a wreck. They can pray because they’re not a doctor or surgeon. They can’t do anything except pray, unless they service the hospital.

If someone dies of natural causes, and others issue thoughts and prayers, that’s okay. There’s nothing we can do when a 89-year-old woman passes away becuase it was her time. Expressing the close family and friends some condolensces is what you’re supposed to do. But for the most part, there’s nothing you can do to stop an elderly person from dying.

However, there is something we can all do to stop shootings like the recent two incidents. But we don’t. We can press our legislators to pass stricter background checks, but we won’t. Why? Because we’ve become a nation where whoever yells the loudest and longest wins the fucking argument. That’s why we let that son of a bitch Trump become President.

Remember back in school where there was always a student who was the most disruptive and you just kept wondering why something wouldn’t be done about them? Well, the teachers don’t want to do anything. The adminsitrators don’t want to do anything. And now, you’re having to listen to this person who thinks they’re the class clown or the one who’s too cool to be in school thinks that everyone likes them. But we don’t. We never have.

Now, we have them in office. And worse, the Internet has given rise to topics that the people who never took political science or civics in school now think they’re the next William F. Buckley. Guns kill things. That’s what they’re used for. Home defense is a cop-out excuse. A lot of burglars won’t enter a house when it’s occupied.

People wear guns when thjey go to the grocery store but they won’t wear a mask to stop the spread of Covid-19. It’s their rights, they say. It’s their rights to carry a gun at a supermarket. But they don’t want wear a mask to help someone else’s health. They don’t care about safety.

And let’s face facts, if praying solved everything, the U.S. government would do everything it could to prevent certain people from doing it. You know good and well praying would only be allowed by these charlatan evangelicals like Creflo Dollar, Joel Osteen and Kenneth Copeland. A lot of corporate types would be allowed to pray. I’m sure a lot of conservative politicians would be. But they’d stop everyone else. Democrats wouldn’t be allowed to pray. And definitely lower-income people and people of color would be prevented unless they did so to help those more fortunate of themselves.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t pray if it makes you feel better. Your own spiritual connection to a religious deity is yours to have and I want you to have it. But If you’re a registered voter, get educated and vote against the people who still allow these shooting sprees to happen. Contact your legislators. They may not listen to you or return your calls. But at least you’ll know where they stand.

No one needs an AR-15 rifle. You can’t go hunting with it. If someone breaking down your door isn’t scared by a 9mm or .38 caliber gunshot, then you need to call 911. It all goes back to phallic substituions. Every cop basically carried a .38 before women started carrying them for safety, which they do need. Now, everyone has a 9mm or .40 caliber. It’s got to be bigger.

If you have a shotgun and you go waterfowl hunting, you can’t have more than three shotgun shells. Yes, they fucking restrict the amount of ammunition you use to shot at ducks and geese. So, ducks and geese are more important than young children, I guess. If you shoot a deer outside of season, you can be cited for poaching. Imagine that.

The issue here isn’t really guns as much as it is the policymakers who allow firearms to be easily purchased. Here in Oklahoma, they have gun shows almost every weekend all over the state. The National Rifle Association has its meat hooks into the Republican Party and even Democrats who cater to gun enthusiasts. But they don’t care who ends up dying.

An annual meeting of the NRA is scheduled this weekend in Houston and guess who is expected to speak there? Yes, it’s Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) along with Trump. They’ll do anything during an election year to get votes. It’s not about safety. It’s about their own re-election and fund-raising money.

What’s really sad about all the laws and policies in this country is that women of all races have the power to make changes. But too many white women are still beholden to that notion they should be subservient to their men. They want to look all cute in their camouflage clothing and disgusting ball caps. The last thing we need in this country is more Lauren Boeberts and Marjorie Taylor Greenes.

I would like to see the FCC stand up and prevent all politicians from using firearms in their campaigns. Brian Kemp, the governor of Georgia, used an ad aiming a gun at a teenage boy and that motherfucker got elected. Speaking of which, if you can’t say “motherfucker, shit, asshole, fuckface, rimjob or cocksucker” on TV, then, you shouldn’t allow a politician to use a weapon in ads either.

I hate to mansplain but the only way we’re ever going to get a lot of policy changes in this country is for the majority of women to start pushing back. And I know it’s hard for them. I’m sure a lot of women are living in fear of their husbands and partners based on how they vote. I’m sure many absentee ballots were made by men but signed by the women.

What’s even worse is I feel little will be done about the Uvalde incident because what people are seeing is mostly Latinx victims. After the Charleston, S.C. shooting, they argued that Dylann Roof had an issue with Christianity not black people. But after Buffalo, they didn’t have any way to sidestep it. And since the shooter was Latinx, they can’t spin it into something else.

Why are young men killing people? It’s not really about the guns, but access to them. It’s reported that Ramos bought the guns off the Internet after he turned 18. And Gendron’s family said it was about Covid, not race. Yet, his family has access to guns. We live in a world where Kyle Rittenhouse is hailed as a hero for what he did. He was only 17. He went into a situation that didn’t concern him. That’s an instigator in my opinion.

But thoughts and prayers are useless unless you’re willing to do something about it. We live in a country where if your child is sick and all you do is pray for them, you can be charged with neglect. If your partner is severely ill and you don’t take them to the hospital or call for an ambulance, you can be charged with neglect. If your elderly parents are invalid and you don’t take care of them, you can be charged with neglect. But if you prayed for them to get better, wasn’t that enough? It works at other times.

Why do we have laws that say it’s not okay to just pray for these people in this situation but we only should pray for these people in that situation? And since half of Americans don’t have any religious affiliation now, using prayer as an excuse just shows that Christianity isn’t about caring for others, but control.

I don’t have all the answers. I’m not going to pretend I do. I have just a few suggestions that others might also have. They are:

  • Remove all legislators who have been in office more than 15-20 years
  • All legislators who accept money from the NRA and other firearm lobbyists will be required to disclose it very openly
  • Elect more women
  • Elect more women of color
  • Elect more people who don’t have a religious affiliation
  • Elect more people representative of the LGBTQIA community
  • Shut down gun shows and deny them permits
  • All firearms have to be purchased through licensed sellers and all buyer have to follow strict background checks
  • No firearms can be sold as a gift and that includes fund-raisers for charity
  • Prevent politicians from using firearms in their campaign ads

Like I said, I don’t know all the answers. Maybe you have some better suggestions. But I don’t think we need to fight fire with fire. If more guns is the only thing you can imagine, then that’s not possible.

I don’t want people to go to school where it looks like a prison with armed guards at key locations. I don’t think you should have only one entrance and exit. I definitely don’t think teachers, faculty and staff should be heavily armed either. School should be inviting. And to turn it into a prison is only going to affect the students’ learning and behaviors.

We’re always looking for the most complicated response to school shootings. Have students tuck in their shirts so they can’t hide guns. Have students only use mesh backpacks so they can’t hide guns. It’s always an inconvenience to the students. We should follow more simpler solutions.

But those solutions will make them unpopular with certain voters and powerful people. I sure hope the people of Uvalde really head to the polls this election year and they have a tough decision to make. Do they want more of the same or are they willing for a change?

Let me leave all of you with this. It’s Memorial Day Weekend coming up. Normally, this is a time in which people enjoy the early days of summer with trips and backyard barbecues and swimming parties. But in Uvalde this weekend, there will be a lot of funerals being held or planned.

Hell of a way to spend a holiday weekend.

And it didn’t have to be this way.

What do you think? Please comment.

Published by bobbyzane420

I'm an award winning journalist and photographer who covered dozens of homicides and even interviewed President Jimmy Carter on multiple occasions. A back injury in 2011 and other family medical emergencies sidelined my journalism career. But now, I'm doing my own thing, focusing on movies (one of my favorite topics), current events and politics (another favorite topic) and just anything I feel needs to be posted. Thank you for reading.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: